I've been asked to give a status update on a long running project at a company wide meeting - the problem is no progress has been made since the last meeting.  The project itself is the re-write of the employee handbook, so its not exactly time sensitive (although an update to the material is long overdue).  Other, more time sensitive projects keep "bumping" it, which is why no progress has been made since the previous meeting.

Is it ok to say no progress and move on, or do I need to provide some sort of explanation?


Thanks in advance!

mattpalmer's picture

For a regular status report, what to do depends on your organisation, and how many "no progress" reports in a row you've given.  In some organisations, it would require a lengthy explanation of what else bumped it each time; in other cases, you could go six months without needing anything more than "no further progress since last time".

Given that it's a company-wide meeting, though, the audience is different and therefore what needs to be reported is different.  If I were in the audience, I guess I'd want to know yes, there hasn't been any progress, but it's still on the radar and everyone involved is keen to get it done, as soon as time permits.  If you've given that report for the last few meetings, or if there's been a lot of grumbling about the new handbook "still not being ready", you might want to give more detail about what is being done to free up time (or that there's an expected lull, and so it'll be worked on then), but that would be more of a judgment call you'd need to make based on knowing your audience.

Kevin1's picture

 If you are only responsible for reporting progress, and not delivering the project, then you don't want to drop a dime in the meeting.  You should be pre-warning all those on whom you are waiting and asking them what they can commit to in order to get back on track and then you can report that plan.


If you are on the hook to deliver the project's progress, then one way forward would be

Prior to the meeting, own up to having made no progress. Present the plan you have to get back on track or at least start moving in the right direction. If you need resources freed, ask for assistance in that respect. Ask if they would like to skip your segment in the meeting or prefer that you present your new plan update.

I defintely wouldn't wait until the meeting if you are one responsible for it and you've not delivered anything.

Kind regards